International Newsletter Sign Up


Help! My Dog Refuses to Potty Outside

Help! My Dog Refuses to Potty Outside


As a pet parent, you know the importance of regular potty breaks for your beloved dog. But what happens when those outdoor trips become a struggle, especially during colder months? Seeing your dog refuse to do their business outside can leave you feeling frustrated and worried. If this sounds familiar, you're not alone! Many dogs develop an aversion to going out in the cold, even after proper crate training.

Let's look into why this happens — and the effective strategies you can use to help your furry friend feel more comfortable.


The Psychology Behind the Refusal

Dogs, as sensitive creatures, can be negatively affected by environmental changes like cold weather. Here are some common reasons why your dog may resist potty time in the cold:



Cold paws, rain, and snow can be uncomfortable or even painful for some dogs. Short-haired breeds or dogs with sensitive feet might struggle more with this.


Fear and Anxiety

Unfamiliar textures like icy ground or the sound of crunching snow might cause anxiety in your pup. Additionally, decreased visibility in bad weather can make them feel less secure.


Medical Conditions

Underlying health problems such as arthritis or other joint issues can make movement painful, which may be exacerbated by cold weather.


Solutions and Tips

The good news is there are plenty of things you can do to turn things around! Here's how:


Gear Up for Success

    • Booties: Protect those sensitive paws with booties designed for dogs. These provide insulation and shield them from harsh terrain.
    • Outerwear: Consider a coat for short-haired breeds or dogs who shiver easily. A warm, waterproof coat can make them more comfortable. 
    • Potty Pad Tray: Sometimes accidents are inevitable, and the most you can do is stay prepared with an indoor potty pad tray. This keeps your pups comfortable while keeping your home as clean as possible.


PAW TRAX Mesh Training Tray - Excellent tool for preventing accidents and for potty training puppies!


Change the Environment

Create a designated "potty zone" by clearing a patch of snow or ice, making it more inviting for your dog.

If possible, try creating a covered potty space using a tarp against the rain, wind and snow.


The Power of Routine and Rewards

Establish a regular potty break schedule and stick to it, especially in cold weather. Predictability reduces anxiety.

Lavish your dog with praise and extra-special treats the moment they do their business outside. Positive reinforcement is key! 


Patience and Understanding

Keep potty breaks brief initially, especially in extreme cold. This can help them associate going outside with quick relief.

Avoid scolding your dog if they have accidents inside. This creates negative associations, making the problem worse. 


Extra Tips for Extreme Cold

Before going outside, quickly dip your dog's paws in comfortably warm water. This pre-warms them for the cold.

Have a towel ready at the door to dry off the dogs' paws, fur, and belly after they come inside.


When to Consult a Vet

If your dog's refusal to potty outside persists despite your efforts, or is accompanied by other symptoms like lethargy or pain, it's important to consult your veterinarian. This will help rule out any underlying medical conditions.


PAW TRAX Doggy Potty Pads - no more pet stains . . . no more pet odor . . . no more surprises!


Richell USA Offers the Tools You Need to Make Your Pet Happy

Addressing your dog's hesitation to go potty outside in the cold takes patience, empathy, and some adjustments. By providing comfort, establishing routines, and using positive reinforcement, you can help them overcome this challenge and enjoy their essential outdoor time.


Richell USA is dedicated to enriching the lives of pets and their families. For a comfortable potty experience in any weather, explore our selection of dog boots, coats and versatile indoor/outdoor crates and pens. Reach out to us today!


Contact us today to find out where you can purchase our products in your area.


Follow us on Instagram    



Sign up today for our newsletters and get new product information, updates, giveaways, and helpful tips!




    Do you have a question or comment?
    We'd love to hear from you!

    Please complete this form and click "Submit". Our Customer Support team will gladly address your request and respond in a timely manner.

    Richell USA, Inc.
    2214 Paddock Way Drive, Suite 500
    Grand Prairie, Texas 75050 USA
    icon17 icon18PIJAC Canada